Dr. Carranza is an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon.
Maxillofacial surgery covers a wide array of different procedures; from mouth and jaw injuries, to tumors, birth defects, and teeth extraction.
Face and Jaw Trauma
Injuries in the jaw area are actually very common, especially in children who are learning to walk and are thus prone to falling down and hitting their chin. Leaving these injuries untreated can have dire consequences in the long run, as it can affect the development of the jaw during a period of constant growth.
Face and jaw trauma in adults tends to occur in relation to car crashes, fist fights, and home accidents; face, jaw and tongue injuries and fractures are very serious and usually require immediate attention. X rays are a must, because fractures in this area of the body can go unnoticed at plain sight.
Though Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate are perhaps the most commonly occurring birth defects for the jaw and face area, there are a large number of possible syndromes (each with their own particular group of symptoms) that can develop as well. These defects can affect not only the baby’s capacity to feed, but also (as the ears are connected to the jaw) impair the child’s hearing abilities. The one big advantage in these cases is that babies are very malleable at this early stage of their lives, and successful surgeries give most patients a good chance of leading a perfectly normal life.
Having a jaw that is not properly aligned will often have consequences that go way beyond the aesthetic aspect of the condition. It can have a heavy impact on a person’s daily life, from difficulty chewing and swallowing, joint pain, excessive wear of the teeth, difficulty breathing, and many other problems that cannot be easily treated with braces.
Also known as corrective jaw surgery, this procedure will straighten or realign the jaw, correcting the underlying skeletal deformities along the way. This is a major surgery, performed under general anesthesia, and during the recovery period patients are often required to adhere to an all-liquid diet for a time.
Temporomandibular Joint Disfunction
Commonly called TMJ for short, this is a term that covers the pains and malfunctions of the muscles that we use for mastication, and the joint that connects our mandible to the skull. It is a very common complaint in adults, especially women.